The Significance of Psalm Sunday

palm-branchby Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday, the event prophesied in Zechariah 9:9 five hundred years before. Throngs of people had come to Jerusalem for the annual Passover festival; the population of the city of Jerusalem had swollen from about 50,000 to perhaps 200,000. It was the Sunday before the arrest and trial and crucifixion of Jesus. As Jesus came from Bethany, riding on a donkey, to an area near Herod’s Temple, he was welcomed by a large crowd who laid down palm branches in his path. “Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.” “The people cried out, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” Some recognized him to be the promised Messiah, but probably the majority saw him as the descendant of David who would become a new King of Israel and deliver them from Roman rule. Few, indeed, saw him as the Lamb of God, who would take away the sins of the world, as proclaimed by John the Baptist.

Some of the Pharisees, leaders of the Jews, were alarmed at this tremendous welcoming of Jesus, because they viewed him as their enemy threatening to overturn the society of which they had invested their lives. While Jesus was daily teaching in the Temple—the leaders of the Sanhedrin were plotting his execution, because they saw in him a serious threat to their position, prestige, and wealth.

The Bible makes it plain that there are two ways: the ways of the world and the ways of God. People in the time of Jesus had to decide whether to believe in him as the Son of God and Savior of the World or to reject him. The same challenge remains with us today. We must choose between faith in God, and his approval, or to seek the approval of the world.  This is a bit difficult to parse, because the believing Christian will engage in many of the same practices and activities that the unbelieving do. But there will be a substantial difference in the way that they regard God, and in the purpose that they see in life.

Jesus said…I am the way , and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) May we celebrate the advent of Jesus Christ as the greatest man who has ever lived, and the one who forgives us and redeems us, and welcomes us into his eternal home.

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

More about Foster…

Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is:www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

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What do you do when things don’t go well?

 by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

What do you do when things do not go well?  You have a big day ahead of you, and you don’t feel well and you don’t want to do anything!  You have made careful plans for your day, and there are at least six unexpected events that delay you and distract you.  You have an appointment to make and forget about it—or someone has an appointment to see you and they fail to come.  You promise to do something for another, and you run out of time and it is not done.  Someone makes a promise to you and fails to fulfill it.  Or you read the morning news and wonder who will help us out of the messes that we are in?

READ Psalm 77

The psalmist is hurting.  He prays to God, and he is not sure that he is being heard.  When he looks out at the day he sees  trouble, and he finds no comfort.  He thinks of God, but he is so troubled that he cannot speak.   He remembers better days.  He feels that God is against him.  In a way he is asking if he has missed the train of faith and trust in God.  Then in verse 10 he wakes up.

He recognizes that the problem is not God—but his grief. Out of that realization regarding himself, he finds the resolution:  verses 11 and 12, “I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; yea, I will remember thy wonders of old.  I will meditate on all thy work, and muse on thy mighty deeds.  Thy Way, O God, is holy.  What god is great like our God?”  The psalmist’s plight and resolution remind me of two passages in the New Testament.  “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”  (Matthew 6:33)  “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set you minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”  (Colossians 3:1,2)

The conclusions come to the Psalmist.  “Your way is holy.”  (perfect) There is none other like You.  You are the God who works wonders and redeems your people.  Our God is always to be first in  our hearts!  Our Savior is always there to help us.

This psalm should remind us of those practices that will help us:

  • Turning our attention from ourselves to God
  • Reading the Bible daily
  • Being pro active for the Lord; engaging in his service; helping someone else 
Foster H. Shannon

Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments by typing the address below into your mail program:

I applogize for the inconvenience, but this helps us avoid spammers! Thank you.

More about Foster…

Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is:www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

Let’s Go Fishing! …God’s Answers for Contemporary Christian Living

By Foster Shannon

Pastor,Educator,Writer,Husband,Father,Grandfather,Sports Fan

I have been in the business of communication for a long time and am delighted to begin this blog.

As a pastor, I have often been challenged by younger members of my congregations with
questions about how to relate to the Bible and God’s words in today’s world. As a writer/
publisher, I focus on Christian evidence as a counter-point to the non-believers points of
view. As a husband, father, grandfather, I try to live and adapt our daily lives to what is
faithful to God’s desire (and it is not always an easy journey). Finally,I find more people today
rejecting Christianity because they believe it not applicable to their lives and thus, irrelevant.
I suspect some Christians are “straying” since the answers to daily dilemmas and major life
issues are not evident or easily attainable. Perhaps, considering God’s point of view has
become less important for many.

So why am I starting Let’s Go Fishing blog?

I would like to explore the questions that Christians and others might be asking themselves
and address concerns that have been raised regarding contemporary Christian living.
Current events, philosophy, ethics, morals and how Christians can adapt their contemporary
lives with the Word of God will be the focus. I encourage your comments and questions.
There is always something new to learn and new questions to be raised.

John Robert Stott, an English Christian Leader and Anglican Cleric, was a noted leader of the
worldwide Evangelical movement. In 2005, Time Magazine ranked Stott among the 100 most
influential people in the world. In Stott’s book, the Contemporary Christian, he challenges
all of us to move with the times while standing firmly on the truth of God’s Word. “To be a
contemporary Christian , is to ensure that our present is enriched both by our knowledge of
the past and by our expectation of the future”.

Let’s go fishing….Stay tuned in two weeks time for next blog on the basic question: Why be a
Christian today?

Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments by typing the address below into your mail program:

I applogize for the inconvenience, but this helps us avoid spammers! Thank you.

More about Foster…

After receiving his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science,
Foster Shannon went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a
Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. Foster
started his book ministry over 30 years ago. He publishes and distributes Christian Books
online on The Green Leaf Press, Inc. website: www.gogreenleaf.com. He roots for the CAL
Bears and LA Lakers and swims and bicycles weekly.